Heat remains on youth gangs as part of Operation Alliance

Friday 16 September 2022 4:39pm  –  

Victoria Police’s intense focus on dismantling the state’s worst street gangs saw dozens of people linked to youth gangs arrested across metropolitan Melbourne over the weekend.

As part of Operation Alliance, police from multiple regions and specialist areas joined forces over four nights across the weekend to disrupt gang activity, arrest violent offenders and engage with those on the fringes of youth gangs at the earliest opportunity to minimise their chances of joining a gang and offending.

The western suburbs, northern suburbs, south-east and inner eastern suburbs of Melbourne were all saturated with a highly visible police presence, including Croydon, Endeavour Hills, Melton, Mill Park, Point Cook, Ringwood, Springvale and Werribee.

Police arrested 66 people over the course of the operation, which concluded in the early hours of Tuesday morning (13 September). This included 23 people aged between 14 and 25-years-old with links to street gangs, while a further 43 people with links to street gangs or serious and violent crime were also arrested.

A key component of Operation Alliance sees police regularly knocking on the doors of Victoria’s most serious and violent youth gang members to ensure they are complying with their bail conditions.

Nearly 80 bail compliance checks were performed over the four nights, with nearly 65% of people found to be complying with their conditions.

The full results from the four nights of police activity were as follows:

  • 66 people arrested for offences including aggravated burglary, robbery, car theft, assault and criminal damage.
  • 77 bail compliance checks, with police identifying 27 breaches of bail.
  • Engaged with over 220 persons of interest in the community which has led to greater intelligence holdings to assist future investigations and the ability to disrupt and deter offending.
  • Cleared 28 outstanding warrants
  • Two Firearm Prohibition Order searches
  • Highway Patrol Units checked over 2940 cars through Automatic Numberplate Recognition Technology in an effort to detect stolen cars or numberplates.
  • 136 vehicles intercepted by police, which led to 2 cars being impounded and taken off the roads.

Notable incidents from the four nights include:

• A series of search warrants were executed in the Wyndham area on Friday and Saturday evening which resulted in the arrest of five youths. As a result of the warrants, police recovered an alleged stolen vehicle linked to four separate incidents of shop stealing and petrol drive offs in Point Cook, Woodlea, Williams Landing and Rockbank. Three of the youths were remanded while two were released and are expected to be charged on summons.

• Police attended Florey Avenue, Point Cook about 2.10am on 11 September after reports of four males acting suspiciously. When police arrived four males got into an allegedly stolen car and drove off. The Air Wing followed the car to Shrike Terrace, Point Cook where it was dumped. Police searched the area and arrested an 18-year-old man from Wyndham Vale, a 17-year-old boy from Derrimut and a 16-year-old boy from Truganina. All have been charged with theft of motor vehicle. The 18-year-old was expected to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 11 September. The other two teens have been bailed to face a Children’s Court at a later date.

Operation Alliance is ongoing, and in addition to the arrests made during the four nights of combined activity, a number of other significant recent arrests have occurred, including:

• Following a series of aggravated burglaries, theft of and theft from motor vehicles in Toorak, Brighton, Hawthorn, Eumemmering and Hallam between 6 and 11 September, Southern Metro Crime Team detectives arrested three boys this week. Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday (13-14 September), police arrested a 15-year-old Eumemmering boy, a 16-year-old Hallam boy and a 17-year-old Dandenong boy – laying 26 charges against them. The 15-year-old was charged with aggravated burglary, attempted aggravated burglary, theft of motor vehicle, theft from motor vehicle and committing an indictable offence while on bail. The 17-year-old was charged with aggravated burglary, theft of motor vehicle, and obtain property by deception. The 16-year-old was charged with theft of motor vehicle and negligently dealing with the proceeds of crime. All have been remanded to appear before a childrens’ court at a later date.

• Last week, Croydon Divisional Response Unit detectives executed five search warrants across Hoppers Crossing, Werribee and Sunshine West arresting five men aged between 17 and 24. A sixth 22-year-old man was arrested after presenting himself at Keilor Downs Police Station. The six men are expected to be charged in relation to a stabbing incident at Kiloran Park in Mooroolbark last month, which left a 16-year-old boy with serious injuries. Four separate male youths were arrested at the time of the incident but released pending further enquiries.

• On 6 September, detectives from the Southern Metro Crime Team arrested three boys following a series of car thefts, charging two with burglary, theft and theft of motor car. It is alleged the three youths stole a Mazda CX-5 from Moriah Street, Clayton at approximately 5:15am on 27 August before allegedly stealing a Mitsubishi Outlander from Clearwater Drive in Pakenham that same evening. At approximately 5:00am on 28 August, it is alleged the stolen Mitsubishi Outlander was used in an aggravated burglary in Sunset Avenue, Beaumaris where a BMW was stolen. The stolen Mazda was allegedly used in a burglary on 29 August at approximately 12.05am where nearly $5,400 worth of alcohol was stolen from a commercial address at the Eden Rise Shopping Centre, Berwick South. The BMW and Mitsubishi Outlander have been recovered. On 6 September police executed three search warrants at residential addresses in Springvale, Hallam and Wallan and arrested three youths. A 15-year-old Wallan boy was charged with burglary, theft, theft of motor vehicle, handle stolen goods and committing an indictable offence while on bail. He has been remanded to appear before a Children’s’ court at a later date. A 15-year-old Hallam boy was charged with burglary, theft, theft of motor vehicle and handle stolen goods. He has been bailed to appear before a children’s court at a later date. A 12-year-old Springvale boy was interviewed and released pending further inquiries.

Operation Alliance has led to significant results on a state-wide level, with 452 known youth gang members arrested a combined total of 1,334 times in the last year.

This has led to over 3,200 charges being laid and 191 offenders being remanded.

Anyone with information about criminal activity is urged to report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Quotes attributable to Brimbank Divisional Commander, Superintendent Michael Cruse:

“This was a collaborative effort involving multiple policing regions, Crime Command and specialist units all focused on dismantling youth gangs and disrupting their offending.”

“Dozens of offenders involved in serious and violent offending have been arrested as a result, and we’ve also engaged with a significant number of people, further boosting our intelligence holdings and giving us a chance to deter people from getting involved in gang activity before it’s too late.”

“Operation Alliance is an ongoing operation that sees teams of officers, detectives and specialist units patrolling our streets, monitoring intelligence and proactively engaging with offenders and persons with one goal in mind – to disrupt and dismantle youth gangs before they can cause significant harm to the community.”